Designing and Delivering In-the-Field Scouting Programs
Field sampling or scouting is such an integral part of integrated pest management in the US that it has become virtually synonymous with the very definition of Integrated pest management (IPM). Indeed, some critics argue that IPM is nothing more than count-and-spray pest control that pays but lip service to nonchemical controls. Many factors explain the relative simplicity of IPM scouting programs among US farmers, including satisfaction with established methods, suspicion of unfamiliar technology, and inadequate communication between university researchers who develop scouting protocols and IPM advisors who implement them. Surveys of growers and IPM advisors repeatedly have identified lack of simple sampling programs as serious constraints to IPM adoption. “Easy-to-use” can be read both as the amount of time required to make a management decision and the level of specialized training or equipment needed to conduct the scouting program.